Prepaid Wireless Tracker
- December 2014 Issue #78
wireless is a growing and truly exciting industry. At
Prepaid-Wireless-Guide.com I try to provide you with in-depth
information that isn't readily available anywhere else. The
content is original, and created from firsthand experience working in
the prepaid wireless industry for over a decade.
This monthly email provides you
with a quick glance at what's trending in the news so that you
informed. I believe in brief, to-the-point
so that you can move onto other tasks in your day. Each
includes a link to the original story should you be interested in the
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AT&T Adds Data Throttling To GoPhone
To Enable Unlimited Marketing
you're on a $45 or $60 GoPhone plan, rather than getting cut off from
data after you hit your plan allowance, you'll now get unlimited data
at a very reduced speed. Although it's much slower, you'll
fully capable of seamless email checking in the background, though
Internet access will be painfully slow. This not only allows
to market the plans as unlimited, but also better aligns the plans with
It's interesting to note that AT&T
recently announced that it will NOT be operating its Cricket brand as a
completely separate entity as it had promised following the
acquisition. To leverage "the mother ship" it makes sense to
all wireless brands under one entity. As a result, expect to
better alignment between GoPhone and Cricket in the coming year.
new strategy makes a lot more sense, as it will be operationally more
efficient, which is more critical than ever in a market that is
seeing rapidly declining margins.
Phone Unlocking Policies
this month, Cricket is requiring customers to stay with them for 6
months (rather than 4 months previously) before they'll unlock your
phone. The reality is that although we all dislike locked
helps carriers recoup costs, whether it's partial subsidies on
hardware, or customer acquisition (i.e. marketing, dealer spiffs,
In other words, this is not an attempt to be evil, but rather
to maintain a profitable and sustainable business, which ultimately
allows them to offer competitively priced plans. Personally,
think sticking with a carrier for 6 months is unreasonable at all.
Changing providers before that point really would be a pain,
likely costly for everyone. If they made it anywhere near 12
would feel very differently for sure!
AT&T Buys Mexico Wireless
Carrier Iusacell For $2.5B
Atlanta Journal Constitution
clearly the next means available for large carriers to
grow, and Mexico is clearly a fantastic fit given its existing
relationship with the U.S. (read: immigrants & travelers).
acquisition will enable AT&T to garnish a strong competitive
advantage. Hopefully the deal will close successfully!
Verizon Beefs Up Prepaid Smartphone Lineup
With LG Transpyre
Verizon continues to lag behind every other major carrier in
the country when it comes to prepaid. Clearly they're holding
onto their contract business as long as possible. That said,
this year they have slowly added smartphones and 4G access to their
prepaid lineup. Here we have an extremely capable quad-core
4.5" screen Android smartphone for $100 off contract. For
prepaid, but set on sticking with Verizon, it's great
to see your options continuing to expand, albeit very slowly!
Verizon Launches Mexico &
Canada Prepaid Add-On
Verizon prepaid customers can now purchase a $10 add-on that gets you
1,000 minutes to cell phones and landlines in Canada and Mexico.
This is actually a very competitive price point, which is
surprising for Verizon. I suspect it's a relatively
inexpensive offering for them given their negotiating power and vast
relationships. This is definitely a much lower risk for
Verizon than competing on prepaid plan pricing at this point in time.
Republic Wireless Tops Consumer
Top Prepaid Carrier
WRAL Tech Wire
Republic Wireless and Ting are both smaller carriers that run on the
Sprint network who scored very high on customer satisfaction.
The reality is that smaller carriers have been able to build
business models from the ground up that focus on low costs and high
levels of customer service as key strategic differentiators.
That said, there's always a risk that these smaller carriers
won't be able to compete long term, and customers get stuck looking for
a new service plan (and potentially a new phone) with very little
notice, as we've seen occur over the past couple of years.
Personally, I would stick with smaller carriers that use 4G LTE phones
that can be unlocked to work on virtually every carrier. If
they'll using older 3G CDMA phones, there's a lot less flexibility if a
small carrier disappears quickly. That said, the risk is
overall quite low, and
smaller providers can offer great value and
service, so prospective customers shouldn't immediately discount them
Sprint's Boost, and T-Mobile's GoSmart Offer
These data promotions are definitely great value; they turn reasonably
good plans into great plans! If you're an existing customer
please make sure to call them to get on these plans (you won't be
automatically migrated), and if you're a prospective customer, it's
definitely a good time to make a move.
Carriers tend to authorize these promotions on a month-by-month basis
depending on results, and although they could conceivably be continued
for a number of months, the reality is that you'll never know for sure
when they'll end, so hesitate and you may
Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and
tell me what you think!
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